which program to join for qantas flights

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by midea, May 4, 2007.

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  1. midea

    midea Newbie

    Mar 31, 2007
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    i do not know which program to join to get my qantas points for. whether american aadvantage or qantas frequent flyer. i have heard that qantas frequent flyer is not as generous and wants more points for flights than aadvantage does. is this true..which one is better to join and why. please do not take into consideration any joining fees as it does not matter. what is the good and bad!?;)
     

  2. NM

    NM
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    There are many, many threads already on AFF that discuss this very same topic. Do look around and you will learn a great deal from the previous threads.

    The answer is ... "it depends".

    It depends on lots of things like:
    • What type of fares you purchase (business class, fully flexible, heavily discounted etc)?
    • What you want from the FF program (upgrades, lounge access, free flights etc)?
    • Are you also looking to earn points/miles from Frequent Debting (credit card use)?
    • Where do you fly (domestic only, trans-continental, short or long haul international)?
    • How regularly do you travel?
    So think about these questions and look through previous threads on the topic and you will find most people's recommendations.
     
  3. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    Hmmm. This is a pretty open question, but I'll try to answer it (and let the AA experts add their own bits and pieces later!).

    My gut feeling has always been to be in the program of the airline you fly the most. This means Qantas to me - especially due to their high local presence.

    However, the AA program is actually quite good and the award flights are much "cheaper" than the Qantas equivalent flights (Keep in mind that AA and Qantas are both in OneWorld, so they have access to the same award flights, although I believe Qantas FF members have access to award flights ~30 days earlier than AA members).

    You really have to analyse how much you fly and in what classes you fly. In the bigger picture, I believe that Qantas Platinum (AA ExPlat) is easier to earn with Qantas than to earn it with AA.
    This of course depends on your individual flight patterns though.

    Talking about Qantas Gold (or AA Plat) then especially with the "AA Challenge" it tends to be easier with AA.

    If you're flying deep discount with Qantas, then you have to be careful about which class it books into. Less of a worry on higher Economy and Business fares.
    With other airlines, you have to watch too. My best example of where AA is worse than Qantas is if you fly discount economy with Cathay Pacific a lot.

    AA is of course free to join. Qantas does cost the $$ for Australian/NZ residents.

    Don't forget the credit card angle (ie most Australian Credit Cards deposit points into Qantas, not AA. The convoluted route into AA from these cards often mean you lose a lot of points in the transfer. Same deal with Rental cars and hotels. They may want to give you less AA points than Qantas points for a transation.

    Awards do tend to be cheaper both in points and "fuel fines" when redeeming with American Airlines over Qantas.

    Upgrades always rely on points/status in the "home" scheme of that airline - ie you can't use AA points to upgrade a Qantas flight, and vice versa.
    AA status will not give you lounge access within America (unless international flight), whereas Qantas status will.

    My best advice is to look at your flying patterns, then keep in mind the earning charts at the following locations:
    https://www.aa.com/apps/AAdvantage/ViewMileageProgramsDetail.jhtml?anchorEvent=false&partnerType=Air
    Frequent Flyer - About the Program - Terms & Conditions


    Then keep reading through the various AA vs QF posts here and make your own mind up.
     
  4. midea

    midea Newbie

    Mar 31, 2007
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    thank you. i have actually decided to go with the australian qantas programe for a number of reasons.

    mainly fly qantas domestic
    program is much simpler and more 'attractive' (does that sound wrong? ...) to me
    i will be able to get upgrades on qantas flights
    better possibility of status and lifetime status
     
  5. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    If you are travelling mainly domestic, you may indeed be able to get upgrades, but an upgrade on QF can be nearly as expensive than an award business seat using AA points on longer routes and in some cases more expensive (e.g anwhere in Australia to anywhere else in Australia/New Zealand is 35k for an award business flight with AA vs 32k QF points to upgrade SYD-PER r/t )

    The AA scheme is no less simple than Qantas scheme and also has lifetime status

    What sort of routes and what type of tickets are you typically going to be doing?

    Dave
     
  6. midea

    midea Newbie

    Mar 31, 2007
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    i would mainly be flying along the east coast of aus, with the occassional return flight to london on british airways and qantas. that is pretty much all at the moment. there's other holidays too of course..
    on american airlines - is it the same number of points for redeeming every flight within australia?
     
  7. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    Using AA points.. an award return flight from anywhere in Australia to anywhere else in Australia or New Zealand is 20k in economy and 35k in business.... no fuel surcharges to add

    using QF points, the cost will depend on distance, starting at 8k one way plus fuel fines , so a min of 16k economy or 32k business. On longer routes, the rates increase ( e.g. SYD-PER, it can cost 16k each way plus fines in economy ( 32k return ) or 32k in business (64k return)

    Dave
     
  8. midea

    midea Newbie

    Mar 31, 2007
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    ok so this would mean that with AA you would have to take 40 flights on qantas to get a free flight anywhere in australia/nz. with qantas it would be much quicker wouldn't it - 8 flights to get an award flight like BNE-SYD + some charges.
     
  9. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Dont discount the "some charges". The thing is that if you are flying enough for a comparison to be made then you will be earning more than 16K points in the relevant time period.

    Where does the 8 flights come from? is that 8 return flights? In which case its 20 return flights on AAdvantage not 40.
     
  10. NM

    NM
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    The 8 flights is using the QF 1000 points minimum to get the 8000 points needed for a one-way award flight up to 600 miles (e.g. SYD-MEL).

    So that means its 16 flights for a return trip to a destination that is no more than 600 miles away. Oh yes, and Qantas will ask you for your credit card so they can stick you for $56.40 for fuel fines on top of the usual government and airport taxes and charges.

    The 40 flights for AA is assuming you have no status and hence only earning the 500 minimum miles. As a AA Platinum member, I earn a minimum of 1000 AA miles for a QF flight, so that means 20 flights earns me at least 20,000 miles needed for a return trip anywhere within or between Australia and New Zealand. Oh yes, and AA will only charge you the real government and airline taxes and charges and not a fuel fines, hence a cash saving of at least $56.40 for a return trip.

    In my experience, the <600 mile award flights are about the least effective way to spend you QF FF points.
     
  11. Evan

    Evan Established Member

    Dec 26, 2006
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    Yep, so it seems, most of my points are used for upgrades simply because most of my travel is not planned too far in advance and hence unable to use award flights.

    I would be interested to know if anybody has figured out the best use of points ??

    E
     
  12. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I think that would be different for everyone. Some people seem to think that using points to upgrade to business class is best value. To me the business class product is only worth twice the price, if that, of what I pay for economy so using points to upgrade is not worth much value.

    Best value for me so far has to be my 16 sector, 5 stopover RTW coming up in August. Valued at around $3500, not including taxes and surcharges, and only 140,000 FF points. YMMV
     
  13. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

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    I guess the best use is using them for what you need them for :) For me I wont fly in whY unless there is no other option (KA906 to PEK for example on Monday) - so when it comes to leisure flying its J on nothing.

    So the best use of points for me is UG on any flight I can. I actually dont care so much about points earning - its status for me really. But if I had kids away at uni and could use points to fly them further away that would be a good use of points ;)
     
  14. NM

    NM
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    Ah the memories ... 4 years ago I cashed in 7 x 130,000 points for a similar result - but no fuel fines back then, so the value was somewhat better.

    Now I use my AA miles for award flights, and my QF point for upgrades. I will upgrade any QF flights that I am able. In the last 12 months, I have only failed to upgrade on QF once, and that was because the flight was booked the same day as travel and J was already full. In that time I have upgraded MEL-LHR and HKG-MEL from J to F, and SIN-BNE, BNE-PER, PER-BNE and BNE-SYD from Y to J. Still tossing up whether to upgrade SYD-BNE next week? There is U there now, but I might be more interested in changing to an earlier flight instead. But for 5,000 points I will try for an ODU if not take the U.
     
  15. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

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    There is going to be quite a sting for you soon when you drop from QF WP to QF SG - a lot fewer cleared upgrades.

    Out of interest are the points you are using from accumulated flying points or from ongoing CC spend?
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    Well my confirmed upgrade BNE-SYD was available to anyone. The same for PER-BNE. Both those flights had U available when my ticket was issued so I confirmed the upgrade on-line. My BNE-PER was an ODU, so anyone with Qantas Club access had the same chances as me. Certainly my international upgrades have been assisted by Platinum status.
    Flying points. I have only once transferred Amex points to Qantas and that was just prior to emptying my account of 910,000 for 7 x ATW award tickets. Still got over 300K available to blow on upgrades in the coming years.
     
  17. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

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    I was doing a bit of a comparison between QF and AA and what would happen if I moved flights to AA later this after I hit EXP so I can get QF WP. It was interesting teh effect that the loyalty bonus had on miles earned. As a QF SG I should earn less miles due to the 50% vs 1 100% status bonus bu because I fly in J and rack up the SCs the loyalty bonus kicks in - and as an EXP I dont get the 500 iles upgrade stickers that can be converted to miles - mile for mile it works out the same being an AA EXP and a QF SG...
     
  18. NM

    NM
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    Don't under-estimate the value of 8 eVIPs ;)
     
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